Tue, Jun 11, 2013
Quebec is a veritable comedy juggernaut. There’s something about the place that nurtures some of the planet’s funniest people. Just for example, the annual Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal is almost certainly the world’s preeminent comedy festival. As part of the Exit Realty on the Rock Comedy Festival here in town, Derek Seguin will be bringing his hilarious French Canadian wit to our shores. Seguin is a mainstay of the comedy festival circuit here in Canada, and he’s made a number of guest appearances on CBC Radio’s The Debaters. He’ll be making a couple of appearances throughout the festival, included a couple of dates with Debaters host Steve Patterson. The Comedy Festival runs from June 12 to June 16. Check out the listings section for individual dates and prices.
Thu, Jun 6, 2013
Lisa Moore has had a good year. Her second novel February, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, was selected as the 2013 Canada Reads winner. And now, the St. John’s-based author is poised to release her third novel, which follows the Moore pattern of pithy titles. It’s called Caught, and it’s about a prison escapee who embarks on an epic pot-smuggling scheme. We’re not sure if the title is a spoiler or not. At the same launch, Michael Crummey will be debuting a new book of poetry called Under The Keel. It seems like it’s a pretty big deal. The double launch will also feature music by singer-songwriter duo The Blue Drop. Check it out at Christina Parker Gallery at 50 Water Street at 7pm.
Tue, Jun 4, 2013
Hayden Desser likes to tell a story at his concerts about how once he was playing a gig in , and he happened to notice that the promo posters for the show were billing him as “The King of Mopecore”. That’s the first thing you’ve got to understand about Hayden: His tunes may be sad, but the man himself is charming and hilarious. His live shows consist alternatingly of tracks from his, it has to be said, depressing oeuvre and him recounting hilarious stories like how Starbucks customers complained about his song “Woody”, which was anthologized on one of their compilations. (The punchline is that “Woody” isn’t about boners, it’s about his cat who leaves for a few weeks every spring to get laid.) Hayden’s been a key member of the Canadian indie music scene since 1995 and has a remarkably solid catalogue to show for it. Check him out June 5 at the Rock House. Tickets are $27.99 in advance, and $32.99 at the door.
Thu, May 16, 2013
For a chance to enact meaningful change to the relationship between arts and the city, the public is invited to participate in Arts & The City 3. The third in a series, this year’s theme is “Cultivating Connections.” Arts & The City 3 is structured as a roundtable discussion to generate new ideas for the intersection of the arts and city administrative policies. The ideas generated won’t be filed into some abstract, never-looked-at-again dossier either — they’ll actually be used to inform meaningful policy development. The St. John’s Municipal Arts Plan was created based on the consultation with artists and community members from the last Arts & The City symposium. Arts & The City 3 starts with an opening reception on May 24, followed by a day of roundtables, open forums, and panel discussions on May 25.
Participants are invited to register by phone at 576-2563 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fri, May 3, 2013
There are two shows opening at the Craft Council Gallery this Saturday.
Out of the Woods and in the Garden is a group show featuring the work of five local artists Graham Blair, Jerome Canning, Kevin Coates, Cara Kansala and Pam Dorey.The artists featured in this exhibition have created objects, in a variety of different media, inspired by the woods and garden.
Located in the Craft Council’s Annex Gallery,The Kiss, an exhibition by Jessica Butler, features jewellery created using the technique of scrimshaw combined with contemporary imagery of the kiss.
The opening reception for these exhibitions is Saturday May 4 from 2pm-4pm
For more information check out their Facebook Event.
Fri, May 3, 2013
If you’re looking for a relaxed night and some beautiful melodies this weekend, check out Girls With Guitars at Nautical Nellies on Saturday. Allie Duff, Emily Locke, and Ilia Nicoll, three talented young women from St. John’s, will each grab a guitar play a set on the small nellies stage.
The show starts at 10pm and runs until 1am. For more information check out the facebook page.
Thu, May 2, 2013
Anthony Brenton’s mysterious, solipsistic new book A Book launches this month in an evening of music, art, and the spoken word. A Book is published by Pink Eye Print Company, a local DIY screen-printing collective founded in 2011. The fledgling company is a fascinating alternative to traditional publishing houses from whom mass production makes the world go round. To make A Book, the folks at Pink Eye rigged up a bookbinding jig and used it to bind Brenton’s writing the hard way. The cover is original screenprinted art by Jessica Smith, and you can be sure the contents are worth the effort. The event features readings by Anthony Brenton and Kevin Hehir, plus music by Andrew Waterman and Devon Milley. The release is at The Ship at 9pm. Entry is $5 and copies of A Book are $20.
Fri, Apr 19, 2013
The sea is simultaneously a provider and a thief, and for those who make their living on the waves, this yin and yang is a constant companion. Shandi Mitchell’s 2012 film The Disappeared, starting a two-week run in local theatres this month, explores this knot of a paradox as its central theme. The film tells the story of a shipwrecked fishing vessel, and its crew of six who cling to life in two dories, adrift and lost. Hundreds of kilometres from land, the men must band together to grope their way home through the flux and fury of the North Atlantic. Mitchell’s acclaimed film was actually shot at sea, rather than in a controlled tank, lending the film an atmosphere of utmost authenticity. Two actors from the province — Labrador’s Shawn Doyle and Newfoundland’s Brian Downey — star in the film. Screenings start April 19 at Empire Theatres.
Fri, Mar 1, 2013
Once upon a time, MuchMusic played music videos, and it occasionally launched some very left-field careers. Spookey Ruben’s is just such a career. Breaking onto the airwaves in 1995 with his video for “These Days Are Old” from Modes of Transportation Vol. 1, Ruben’s surreal, jangly pop attracted major attention, and he’s been keeping it weird ever since. Ottawa-native Ruben will be joined by fellow Ontarians Thunderclap, and will perform two shows at the start of the month. Spookey’s getting local support from George Nervous Four, Devon & Waterman, Nuke ‘Em, Face The Day, and Fireign. Both shows start at 10pm at Distortion.
Despite its misleading name, the common eider is an amazing bird. It’s capable of flying at speeds in excess of 100km per hour, and its feathers are the warmest on the planet. The large, warm-feathered sea ducks play an integral role in the lives of the Inuit of Nunavut’s Belcher Islands, both as a food source and for the protection against the bitter winter that their supercharged down provides. Filmmaker and scientist Joel Heath made this relationship the subject of an award-winning documentary that was seven years in the making. People of a Feather features stunning time-lapse footage of the arctic ice, documenting the lives of the fascinating inhabitants of these remote islands. The film also looks at the impact that industrial megaprojects are having on the region. “Given both the Lower Churchill and Muskrat Falls projects on the table in Newfoundland, this is also very timely and of direct relevance,” Heath says.
People of a Feather has four showtimes a day at Empire Theatres. Joel Heath will host a Q&A session at the 7pm screening on January 7.
Man, what is it about New Year’s? It should be fun, right? A champagne-buzzed chance to blow a kiss at the inexorable march of time. But all too often it’s 12:05 and you’re sitting alone on the George Street steps with mascara streaks on your cheeks and your “Happy 2002” tiara sitting forlornly askew in your hair. Or maybe that’s just me. This year you can save yourself the headache and head down to the Rock House for The Final Countdown—it’s a no-brainer. Ring in the new year with The Wobbly Pops, Cafeteria, and The Texmestics. It’s a night of superluminaries and supergroups. The Wobbly Pops is a musical doz-box consisting of Jud Haynes, Mathias Kom, Mark Bragg, Katie Baggs, and many more. Though the band is usually known for tailoring their sets to suit special events like Halloween shows and fake proms, Wobbly Pop Mathias Kom says this show will be a bit different. “Considering the NYE vibe is usually just party with a capital P, we just get to play the most fun songs ever. No slow jams!”
Doors open at 10pm. Tickets are $20 and are available at Fixed.
The Grimm fairy tales, minus the Disneyfied Hollywood endings, are as real as it gets. I mean, sure Hansel and Gretel features a ravenous cannibal and child murderer, but in the PG versions that’s all slapstickery and cartoonishness. Not so in the Grimm bros’ original. The original versions of the Brothers Grimm’s collection of tales feature all the violence, brutality, and cruel living conditions of life in feudal Europe. This watershed collection, the bestselling book in the German language, turns 200 in December. To mark this bicentennial, local storytelling paragon Dale Jarvis has written a two-hour show, featuring live music by Delf Maria Hohmann. “These stories are full of loss, longing, violence, blood, wicked men and women; they contain the best and the worst of humanity, always alongside themes of hope, and rebirth,” says Jarvis. “But these stories are definitely not for children!”
The Brothers Grimm: 200 Years and Counting runs at Petro-Canada Hall at 8pm. Tickets are $20 at the door.
Because St. John’s is pretty much an unreachable speck on the edge of a monolithic landmass, the reasons to start a cover band here are many. Sometimes it’s to give drinkers at the divebar a familiar soundtrack for getting their drink on. Sometimes it’s to tide fans over until their favourite act makes the long journey to our shores. And sometimes, it’s because the band is never coming, ever. This is the case for Pantera, whose guitarist Dimebag Darryl was sent to the great grow-op in the sky when he was shot and killed onstage by a deranged fan in 2004. Regular People is a Pantera tribute band composed of the cream of the local metal scene. They’re playing with Dirty Dollar Bills for Leaves, a tribute to Alice in Chains, and The Cartridge Family.
They’ve got you covered at the Rock House. And cover is $8.
It’s a lucky few nations that can boast a national man-o’-letters of Robert Burns’ stature. The Bard of Ayrshire’s contributions to literature echoed through the rolling highlands of his native Scotland and out into the universe. Even you know a few words from a Burns poem if you know a few words from “Auld Land Syne”. Burns’ cheeky, touching poetry brought the Scots dialect to the popular imagination and his sympathy for the common folk struck a chord with successive generations of readers the world over. Today, Burns Clubs celebrate his birth with a Burns Supper. Burns Suppers feature recitations, toasts, and of course, the “great chieftain o’ the puddin’ race”, haggis. The St. Andrew’s Society of NL is hosting the 176th-annual (!) Burns Supper to be held in the city, featuring pipe music and highland dancing, Scottish eats, celebrity guests, and more.
Tickets are $50 and it’s being held at the Royal Canadian Legion in Pleasantville at 7pm. Call 579-6114 to reserve.
MUN is hosting its fourth-annual SPARKS Literary Festival, a bright point in the darkest, coldest month we got. The festival features presentations from up-and-coming writers and well-established provincial literary icons. On the docket this year are Grant Loveys, Gerard Collins, Ramona Dearing, Randall Maggs, Don McKay, Wayne Johnston, Eva Crocker, Andy Jones, and numerous others. Details on that are available on the MUN website. The fest begins with a symposium on contemporary NL poetry on January 19th, then the main reading events take place on January 20 at Petro-Canada Hall. Admission is free.